Lifestyle Magazine

How to Find the Cheapest Flights

By Lifecheaply

Trying to book your flight at the cheapest price is like playing the stock market. It can be frustrating and you can feel like you’re on the losing end of things. Below are some tips to help you turn the cards back in your favor and find the best deal possible.

How Far Out Should You Buy Your Ticket? did the leg work for us and looked at 1.5 billion airfares and 4,986,522 actual trips from 2014. They determined that the best time to book a domestic flight is 47 days out. This varies with summer and holiday travel. For those occasions you may want to start looking as far out as 4 months.

Avoid Heavy Travel Times

Try to avoid holidays and peak vacation times, especially if you’re flying into a touristy area. I know this isn’t always possible, as holidays tend to be when we travel, but adjusting the time you fly in by a day or so could help you save.

Flexible Dates

With a family this is probably near impossible, but with a single person or couple it might be doable. Many sites will offer the option of putting in flexible dates, or a date range rather than a set depart/return date. Using this option you may be able to find some cheaper rates.

Traveling Alone?

Try flying standby. With the changes that the airlines have made over the years, standby has fallen out of favor, at least when traveling with more than one person. Growing up my family of three would do it all the time. I would never attempt that now with three people, but one person, your chances are much higher to get on a flight.

Know Someone That Works for an Airline?

Talk to them. See if they’re willing to get you discounted tickets or a standby ticket.

A note on ticket prices: With the drop in gas prices over the past year, airlines charging for basically every bag, and all the flights being booked solid, it seems like the airlines would be fairing pretty well. However it doesn’t seem like we have seen any relief with ticket prices. It will be interesting to see if the investigation by the Justice Department will bring any help in reduction of ticket prices.

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